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Gascoyne: a better weekend for Spyker 31 May 2007

Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2007 Christian Albers (NED) Spyker F8-VII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2007 Broken wheel of Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2007 Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2007 Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Spyker Chief Technical Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Technical boss upbeat after signs of progress in Monte Carlo

Although Monaco ended with a disappointing double retirement for the Spyker team, on a positive note Adrian Sutil underlined his potential by topping the times on a damp Saturday morning, and racing with the Toyotas and Super Aguris on Sunday. Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne gives his verdict...

Q: Did you enjoy the Monaco weekend overall?
Mike Gascoyne:
Yes, I think everyone enjoyed it, and we were buoyed by Adrian’s performance on Saturday. The guys are a bit disappointed by the result, but we were racing at the end of the day, not just making up the numbers.

Q: Was it frustrating to have two retirements?
MG:
It was a disappointing end to a much better weekend, really. With Adrian we went for a standard one-stop, and we were racing for the first time this year. He did a pretty good job but his brake pedal was getting soft and he just made a mistake when he went off. That was disappointing for him, because I think he’d had a pretty good weekend up to then, particularly with his Saturday performance. It was a shame to have Christijan (Albers) out too as his lap times were good at that point.

Q: At one point Adrian was with Trulli and Davidson, and then he fell back. What happened?
MG:
He did drop back off, but it all varied with blue flags and so on and then he picked his pace up again. In the end it looked pretty good, and he was comfortable in front of Schumacher. I think he enjoyed the race until he made a mistake. We would have finished in front of several cars.

Q: You mentioned Adrian topping the times on Saturday morning. Bearing in mind a lot of other cars were also out in the same conditions at the end of the session, are you pleased with that performance?
MG:
Exactly. Hamilton was lapping at the same time, so was Raikkonen. We were on the heavy wets and we had a proper fuel level, so it was good. Adrian had a perfect lap, conditions were helpful but it wasn’t just pot luck.

Q: What about Christijan’s race?
MG:
We tried to do two stops with Christijan. It was a risk, but from where he was he was going to struggle to do anything as overtaking is practically impossible in Monaco, and we were just really thinking that if we get a safety car at the right time we can maybe do something with strategy. In the last five years there have been four safety cars, so it’s not a strange or risky strategy as other teams followed the same - if, as in previous years, a safety car period happened, we would have been much better placed.

Q: What happened to him in the end?
MG:
A driveshaft boot split and it lost all its grease, and just cooked itself. It’s not a problem that we’ve seen before, but it happens.

Q: How do you see the Montreal and Indianapolis weekends?
MG:
They’re quite different races compared to Monaco! I think we had a much better weekend in Monaco, but we also had a good test at Paul Ricard on the low-downforce circuit, where Adrian looked pretty good. Things are getting a bit better.

Q: Even more than Monaco, Montreal is about safety cars and attrition. Is that one of the team’s best chances to score?
MG:
Exactly, and we’ve just to make the most of anything that turns up. We went for it in Monaco, and it didn’t work out for us, but we’ll do the same there.

Q: Does it help that there’s no testing before then, so the others can’t move ahead?
MG:
Yes, it keeps the playing field level, and in some respects that’s good for us.